Affairs Committee
Steve Ahlenius
Vice-Chair Govt. Affairs
Eddie Brown
John Darby
Tony Felker
Mary Frazior
Jim Johnson 
Jamee Jolly
Eddie McBride
Wayne Mitchell
Jason Mock
San Marcos
Tony Moline
Cedar Park
Mitch Thames
Bay City

Welcome! During this 85th Legislative Session, TCCE will be sending out weekly updates of the top things from Austin you should know.  Our goal is that they are beneficial and provide additional insight on legislative matters.  

Thank you to Steve Ahlenius and the Government Affairs Division/Committee for their work in bringing us this great resource.  Enjoy! 


Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced that he would add the following legislation to his legislative priorities:
  • SB21 - Convention of States.  To adopt an Article V 'Convention of States' to limit power of the federal government.
  • SB22 - Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH).  Targets workforce-ready partnerships between K-12, higher education and the industries.
  • SB23 - E-Verify.  For electronic verification of employment, which will also ensure state partners are authorized for employment.
  • SB24 - Religious Liberty/Sermon Safeguard.  Will protect pastors from forced testimony and shield sermons from government subpoena power. 
2)       BUDGET
  • Constitutional Spending Limit.  Adopted by the Legislative Budget Board to limit budget growth to 8 percent over the next two years so spending limit will increase slower than personal income is projected to grow. Applies only to tax revenue that is not dedicated by the Texas Constitution.
3)        RAINY DAY FUND    
The sufficient balance was set at $7.5 billion; at the end of the current budget cycle, the Economic Stabilization Fund is projected to have approximately $10 billion.

Economic Development , here are some key findings and recommendations by the House Interim Study Reports:
4)       ON THE  DECLINING PRICE OF OIL & GAS the committee recommended:
  • Maintaining and possibly expanding programs that offer job retraining
  • Examining ways to diversify our economy in order to compensate for fluctuations in any one industry
  • Maintaining favorable regulatory environment, low tax burden, current economic development programs that bring jobs to Texas.
Here are the following recommendations for opportunities and financial incentives for small business expansion and growth:
  • Allowing for a supplemental award out of the Texas Enterprise Fund for recipients who can demonstrate an investment in Texas Businesses.
  • Continuing programs such as the Product Development and Small Business Incubator Fund and Small Business Forums
  • Recommending the Office of the Governor work to disperse information on available resources to small business
  • Exploring ways for the state to increase access to capital
    and enhance the venture capital climate for small businesses in Texas
  • Encouraging the legislature to approach any new regulations or licensing with caution and examine ways to remove some of the regulatory burden on small businesses
  • Offering students additional workforce training options at all levels would help graduates immediately enter the workforce.
6)       SHARED ECONOMY   
The committee evaluated how Texas can support shared economy growth and its implications on existing, traditional businesses. It found that:
  • Sharing economy businesses and jobs will continue to grow, and will go to states with policies that foster innovation and not to those that seek to enact regulations that stifle competition.
  • It recommended developing statewide policies that would allow these emerging industries to flourish while providing acceptable consumer protections.

See what's happening on our social sites